In my previous blog post, I spoke about the need to really explore and find some stuff out for yourself. Luckily, I did most of the work for you (but always check my facts and call it into question, same thing with doctors and nurses)! It’s always good to know things on several different levels. So, here it is. Here is some general evidence based information on epidurals thanks to CAPPA:
What are the steps to receiving an epidural?
- Mom will be given at least one bag of IV fluids, if not two. After this, she will be positioned on either her side or sitting on the edge of the bed curling over and around her belly.
- The doctor will push on the moms back to find the right spot on her spine. The epidural is administered between L4 and L5 or L3 and L4 in the lumbar spine.
- A local anesthetic will be injected into the site to numb the area
- A larger hollow needle will be inserted into the epidural space
- After a bolus is injected into the space, a soft catheter will be placed in the space and the needle removed.
- The catheter remains in the space to keep a continuous flow of medication from an attached pump, and mom will usually be able to push a button to receive more meds.
- Pain relief usually comes after 5-15 min, but occasionally the epidural does not take and needs to be repositioned.
- An automatic blood pressure cuff will be placed around moms arm to monitor her blood pressure every 5 min, then every 15 min once it stabilizes. Because mom looses feeling in her legs, she usually needs a catheter to relieve the bladder.